5 items you need & how to use them..

Whether you're constantly on-the-go like me, or you just want to have that ability to get a quick, easy workout in at home with minimal equipment, there are 5 items that every fitness girl needs to have in her arsenal.

These are super packable, so they won't take up ANY room in your suitcase (you can literally shove them in that front pocket that no one uses) and keep them in a drawer (or under your couch) at home.  

1. Resistance Bands (loops) - I am obsessed with these, which were developed by my trainer, Shantel Mendez.  The quality of them are so amazing, they don't roll around or bunch up like the latex ones.  They also come with several leg & booty workout which is AMAZING.



-squats to lateral leg lift: wear the band around your mid tight, focus on pressing out as you squat down.  squeeze your tush as you come up and left one leg (controlled) to the side as high as you can.  repeat on other leg.  thats one rep.

-banded bridges: same placement of band - mid thigh.  lay on your back with your knees bent, feet on the ground about a foot or so apart.  engage your glutes, and lift them up (bridging your back) while you're resisting the bands.  control as you lower back down.  thats one rep.

-fire hydrants: get on all fours with the band around your thigh.  keeping your knee bent, lift one leg up to a 90 degree angle (like a dog at a fire hydrant) resisting the band.  control as you lower back down.  repeat on other leg.  thats one rep.

-banded arm raises: i just made up that name, because i dont know what these are called.  but loop the band around both your wrists and pull apart just slightly.  keeping the band at the same width, lift both arms simultaneously over your head, and then back down - not letting the band give.  your arms should be approximately shoulder distance apart, allowing you to come up and down smoothly.  this one one is a sneaky burn, guys.

2. Resistance Bands (handles) - Use in place of free weights or cables for resistance with upper body movements.


-bicep curls: stand with both feet on band, hip width distance apart, and the handles at your sides with your palms forward.  slowly curl handles up to shoulders, using biceps NOT swinging your hips, keeping your back straight and pelvis tucked.  slowly lower back down.  thats one rep.

-lateral raises:

-shoulder presses: stand on the center of the band with your feet hip width distance apart.  bring handles of the band above shoulders so that elbows are bent 90 degrees.  this is your starting position.  keeping your shoulders down, press arms up until they are straight above your shoulders, then lower them down to starting position.  thats one rep.

-row: loop the band around something sturdy, a table leg, a park bench, or a door knob (close the door.) grabbing each handle, get into a slight squat position and engage your back muscles to pull each handle toward yourself until your arms are at 90 degree angles with your fists at your ribcage.

3. Gliders - HELLO ABS! Get the strongest core every with these super compact


-mountain climbers: in a plank position with one glider under each foot, use your core to bring one knee to your chest while maintaining a flat spine (don't let your back drop down and don't wiggle your hips.) repeat on the other side.  thats one rep. 

-plank jacks: in a plank position with one glider under each foot, push your feet apart (as if you were doing a horizontal jumping jack) and then back together.  again, maintaining spine integrity is KEY here, otherwise you're not working any muscles and you'll probably hurt yourself.

-lunges: standing with a glider under each foot, keep one leg steady and you push the other leg into either a reverse or side lunge position and then back up again.  staying controlled is key here.

-pikes: starting in plank position again with a glider under each foot, lift your butt up towards the ceiling and drag your feet towards your hands - your body will end in an upside down V shape (like downward dog) and controlled down back to starting position.

4. Jumprope - CARDIO! Start easy, and then work your way up to tricks like double unders, single leg or skipping.

Here, just channel your inner 8 year old and jump away!! Beginners, start with a jump-skip.  Intermediate, single jump.  Advanced, double unders (thats swinging the rope underneath twice in one jump.)  This is AMAZING cardio and takes a lot more skill that we gave our younger selves credit for!  Aim for 10 minutes straight jumping!

5. Yoga Tune Up Balls - releasing your fascia and any muscular tension is just as important as the workout itself.  Use these balls all over your body to roll out hamstrings, back knots, neck tension and upper arm soreness.

With these, you can literally just rub them anywhere that you feel tension.  Or put them between yourself and a hard place (the wall, the floor) and do a little self massage.  For more specific techniques, I recommend checking out these videos.